Traffic Aware Beamformer Design for Flexible TDD-Based Integrated Access and Backhaul

Integrated access and backhaul (IAB) network consists of base station (BS), relay nodes (RNs), and user-equipments (UEs), where BS and RNs exchange UE data via wireless in-band backhaul while sharing the same frequency-time resources with access links. In this paper, a flexible time-division-duplex (TDD)-based IAB network is considered where RNs and BS are assigned to distinct uplink (UL) or downlink (DL) transmission modes to mitigate conventional half-duplex (HD) loss at RNs. An iterative beamformer design is proposed to manage the resulting cross-channel interference and to allocate wireless backhaul and access resources jointly over two consecutive data delivery intervals required for communications between the BS and UEs through HD RNs. Dynamic traffic behavior is handled via weighted queue minimization objective, and user-specific UL/DL queues are also introduced at RNs to guarantee reliable end-to-end data delivery. Bi-directional forward-backward training via spatially precoded over-the-air pilot signaling is employed to allow decentralized beamformer design across all the nodes. A novel user allocation method is proposed to assign UEs to BS or RNs based only on long-term channel statistics and some practical IAB limitations. The numerical examples illustrate the superior system performance of the considered flexible IAB in comparison to the conventional HD relaying system.